Belfast Telegraph

Hungarian woman 'raped and forced into sex trade after being brought to Northern Ireland to pay off family debt', court hears

By Alan Erwin

A Hungarian woman was allegedly raped and forced into the sex trade after being brought to Northern Ireland to pay off a family debt, the High Court heard on Thursday.

She claims a couple put her to work at a house in Dungannon, Co Tyrone with locked bedrooms and kept up to £13,000 earned over a seven-month period.

Prosecutors also revealed detectives are continuing investigations into three other potential victims.

Details emerged as Gyorgy Orsos, 32, and his 20-year-old partner Evelyn Covacs, both of John Street in Dungannon, mounted applications for bail.

The couple, originally from Hungary, are jointly charged with kidnapping, human trafficking and controlling prostitution for gain, along with concealing and converting criminal property.

Orsos faces further allegations of twice raping the woman, stealing her bank cards and smashing her mobile phone with a hammer.

Police arrested the pair after being alerted to the safety of the alleged victim on May 16.

Crown lawyer David McClean said officers discovered a house in poor condition with locks on both sides of bedroom doors.

At least eight boxes of condoms were located, with one room said to show signs of being used for prostitution.

The woman claimed Orsos and Covacs brought her to Northern Ireland seven months previously to work off a debt built up by her family, the court heard.

Mr McClean continued: "She told police she thought she would be working in a regular job and would be given enough money to look after her family.

"When she arrived, however, she was forced to work in the sex trade."

Orsos allegedly raped her when she first arrived, according to the prosecution.

It was claimed that Covacs helped to run the woman as a prostitute, took photographs of her and placed adverts on escort websites.

She also allegedly answered calls from clients, arranged prices and discussed services on offer.

Mr Justice Deeny was told the woman brought from Hungary claims she earned around £13,000 from the sex work, but didn't see any of the money.

Mr McClean added that police are pursuing inquiries in a bid to identify if anyone else was exploited.

"There were three (other) possible victims believed to be there," he said.

One of them has left the jurisdiction, another has yet to be located, while a third doesn't want to make a complaint, the barrister explained.

Bail was opposed due to concerns about interfering with witnesses and the risk of flight.

Lawyers for Orsos and Covacs confirmed they denied all charges against him.

They are seeking release from custody to stay at a privately-run hostel in Co Antrim.

However, the bail applications were adjourned for police to carry out checks on cash sureties of £3,000 and £1,000 being offered.

Mr Justice Deeny stressed that the name, address and occupation of anyone putting up the money should be provided.

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